whisper

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Related to whispered: Whispered pectoriloquy

Chinese whispers

1. A game played between a group of people in which a story or message is told by one person in secret to another, who then retells it to the next, and so on, with the resulting end message usually differing widely (and often amusingly) from the original. It can be considered a pejorative term, so discretion is advised. Primarily heard in UK. Chinese whispers is a great game—it's always hilarious to see what the last person has interpreted by the end!
2. Any information or gossip that has been spread and retold by multiple parties, thus obfuscating, distorting, or exaggerating the original information. A somewhat pejorative term, it takes its name from the party game described above. Primarily heard in UK. The firm's CEO denounced the rumors of impending layoffs as being nothing more than Chinese whispers. It's a common occurrence that sensationalist news headlines devolve into Chinese whispers, thus leading a large number of people to accept misinformation as fact.
See also: Chinese, whisper

whisper sweet nothings

To murmur words of affection to someone in a flirtatious manner. These words may be genuine or less serious. My ex-boyfriend used to whisper sweet nothings to me and then sneak out with his mistress later! At the prom, I watched all the couples around me whispering sweet nothings to each other as they danced.
See also: nothing, sweet, whisper

whisper sweet nothings in (one's) ear

To murmur words of affection to someone in a flirtatious manner. These words may be genuine or less serious. My ex-boyfriend used to whisper sweet nothings in my ear and then sneak out with his mistress later!
See also: ear, nothing, sweet, whisper

whispering campaign

The spread of rumors, with the intent of damaging a person's reputation The whispering campaign that the opposition has launched against me is just awful! I haven't done any of the things they've claimed! I'm always skeptical of the terrible allegations that come out in these whispering campaigns.
See also: campaign, whisper

in a pig's whisper

Very quickly; in a very short amount of time. Sorry for the wait. Your lunch will be out in a pig's whisper.
See also: whisper

stage whisper

1. Literally, in theater performance, speech that is loud enough to be heard by the audience but which has the hushed affectation of a whisper. I think you should say the line in a stage whisper, since you're supposed to be attending a funeral in the scene.
2. By extension, an exaggerated whisper that is loud enough to be overheard by other people. He leaned over to me during the meeting and said in this really smug stage whisper, "And THAT'S why Steve's the boss!"
See also: stage, whisper

in a stage whisper

Fig. in a loud whisper that everyone can hear. John said in a stage whisper, "This play is boring." "When do we eat?" asked Billy in a stage whisper.
See also: stage, whisper

whisper about someone or something

to speak about someone or something in a quiet, breathy voice, as if telling secrets. I hope they aren't whispering about me. Everyone is whispering about the incident in the lunchroom.
See also: whisper

whisper something around

to spread secrets or gossip around. Now, don't whisper this around, but Sam is going to run away from home. If you whisper this around, you will spoil the surprise.
See also: around, whisper

stage whisper

A whisper loud enough to be overheard, as in Our three-year-old behaved beautifully at the ceremony, but then he asked in a stage whisper, "Why does that lady have blue hair?" This expression alludes to an actor's whisper on stage, which is meant to be heard by the audience. [Mid-1800s]
See also: stage, whisper

whispering campaign

A deliberate spreading of derogatory rumors about a candidate, as in That whispering campaign destroyed his chances for election. [c. 1920]
See also: campaign, whisper
References in periodicals archive ?
The patent text said "a regular or loud voice" may be "undesired under certain circumstances where a whispered response is more appropriate.
Some existing speech recognition devices may be incapable of detecting the user's whispered speech, or suffer from misrecognition of the whispered speech," the Apple patent said.
This negative impact is particularly noticeable in mismatched train/test scenarios [2], [3], [13], where ASR systems are trained on normal speech and tested with some other speech mode--in this case with whispered speech.
Sadly their attempt failed to break the current record, which according to Guinness World Records was set last month in China when a whispered message passed along a line of 1,083 people.
Mum," he whispered a moment later, "do you know what I love most in the whole wide world?
Talking to Daddy and Mummy and the Fireman," came the whispered answer.
Maddie starts getting strange whispered phone calls, and her dog is savagely attacked; she is frightened.
Author Karyn Monk presents a light and amusing read in EVERY WHISPERED WORD.
HUNDREDS of pupils whispered their way into the record books yesterday and proved they had school on the brain.
My niece leaned over and whispered, "Why did the music stop?
He dialed the employee's home phone number and was greeted with a child's whispered "Hello?
In whispered monologue, her breathing keeping irregular tempo, she clutched the edge of a kitchen chair and, coughing out her lungs into a wad of tissue, delivered instructions.
It's easy to overhear words whispered by someone standing near the interior wall of a circular, domed chamber.
Let's start on the day I learn it's not a joke not some childish desire fulfilled not the day of the phone call my father's whispered tones and ladder-length pauses obscured by the metallic moan of file cabinets the slap of shoes on government grey linoleum.
It's crazy, one stabbing was enough,'' Ostrem's mother, Helena Scott, whispered tearfully from the spectators' section after Chief Medical Examiner Ronald O'Halloran described the fatal wounds.